Re: [stella] to overscan or not to overscan?

Subject: Re: [stella] to overscan or not to overscan?
From: Glenn Saunders <krishna@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1996 15:16:42 -0800 (PST)

On Tue, 3 Dec 1996, Eckhard Stolberg wrote:
> Yes, it is dependant on your TV set, but the programmer's guide says, that
> Atari's researchers found these values to work with most TV sets. So you
> should stick to them. Of course you can shift some picture lines to the 
> overscan part, if you don't need the whole screen to display, but more time
> for game logic.

One little bit of trivia regarding screen maintenance overhead.

I used to be a big Atari 8-bit fan, and there are registers you can use to
blank the screen DMA for additional number crunching throughput (not that
the Atari8 is as bogged down as the 2600 for that, but still).

Not only was this sometimes done, ala Video Chess, but the most popular
terminal program and compression/decompression programs would create a
custom DLI that only presented one or two text lines, the rest black, to
save cycles.

If anyone comes up with a 2600 program that requires number crunching, but
you don't want to blank out the whole display, creating a small status
window like that may be useful, given the concept works the same as the

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